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View Full Version : How bad is it to use rancid oil - other than smell?



Talula
February 10th, 2010, 06:22 AM
Hi... been wondering this for a while..... I have some natural creams & oils that went rancid b4 I even tried them. Is a rancid cream actually bad for you? Or just unpleasant to smell? I hate to throw out something that still works. I can deal with the temporary smell, but not if it's doing some kind of damage.

Thanks!

cmnt831
February 10th, 2010, 10:01 AM
I've always thrown out any of my oils or natural products that started to smell rancid. I assumed that since many of them have natural anti-microbial properties that they must have "expired" or reached their life expectancy if they can't keep the rancid smell (produced by microbes, I assume) out anymore; thus, leading me to conclude that they aren't potent for the purpose I was using it. In other words, it's just become a smelly oily substance with possible contamination and no benefits. That's just my assumption, however. I'm not a chemist or anything. :p

teela1978
February 10th, 2010, 10:13 AM
The smell should be (if I recall correctly) from the oil molecules breaking down, I don't think the smaller bits work as well as the long chains at protecting skin/hair. I wouldn't use it myself.

GoddesJourney
February 10th, 2010, 11:17 AM
I'm going to go with tossing it out. I assume going rancid means it's breaking down in some way. That and, instinctively, I take that smell as something I should stay away from. I just can't imagine putting something rancid on or in my body on purpose.

kwaniesiam
February 10th, 2010, 11:43 AM
I would imagine the smell being in or on your hair is enough off putting, but something that has gone rancid is in the process of chemically breaking down and won't have the same benefits on your hair anyway. Best to just toss them and store them differently if you hadn't had them that long.

serious
February 10th, 2010, 12:55 PM
I don't just throw away creams and oils that have gone rancid, I use them for cleaning my shoes and bags.

Rhiannon7
February 10th, 2010, 01:36 PM
I would normally throw it out myself, but along these lines i have a question. i bought natural unrefined shea butter and from the start i was told it smelled like rancid oil, but i've mixed it with almond oil and even added vanilla scented oil to the hair and body shea butter mix and it still smells strong. so if it smells rancid i should throw it out right? even if i just bought it? or does unrefined shea butter typically smells a bit rancid?

cmnt831
February 10th, 2010, 01:40 PM
I would normally throw it out myself, but along these lines i have a question. i bought natural unrefined shea butter and from the start i was told it smelled like rancid oil, but i've mixed it with almond oil and even added vanilla scented oil to the hair and body shea butter mix and it still smells strong. so if it smells rancid i should throw it out right? even if i just bought it? or does unrefined shea butter typically smells a bit rancid?

My unrefined shea butter smells strongly, yes; but, a more nutty, smoky scent. Every batch I've ever had smelled like that - not rancid at all. It is an acquired taste to like the way it smells, though.

Fiferstone
February 10th, 2010, 03:07 PM
Rancid could also mean bacterial growth, I'd dump it rather than take the chance on a scalp infection.

AmericanWoman
February 10th, 2010, 05:08 PM
What a couple others already said: Off smell usually means bacterial growth. in other things, like spoiled food. I wouldn't chance it.

Talula
February 10th, 2010, 07:27 PM
I guess the rancid things I'm thinking of at the moment are a lip balm, and a hand salve - which I use on my dry feet. I have been using them to no KNOWN ill effects, they still moisturize fine, and the smell is only temporary after I put it on & doesn't bother me all that much. And I live alone, so it's not like it's bothering anyone else, either. I guess I just was looking for someone who knows, to tell me it wasn't going to... you know... cause cancer or some such horrible thing! If it's just infections people are worried about, I've already used it quite a while & no problems there. I had tried to research online of any serious hidden effects, but didn't find much. Thanks for all the input!

Talula
February 10th, 2010, 07:31 PM
I would normally throw it out myself, but along these lines i have a question. i bought natural unrefined shea butter and from the start i was told it smelled like rancid oil, but i've mixed it with almond oil and even added vanilla scented oil to the hair and body shea butter mix and it still smells strong. so if it smells rancid i should throw it out right? even if i just bought it? or does unrefined shea butter typically smells a bit rancid?

If you just bought it, could you return it? Mine were older. I'd be pretty ticked off if I bought it rancid off the shelf & couldn't return it!